Tropical Fruits & Prawns Salad with Black Pepper-Vanilla Bean Vinaigrette

First of all, i would like to thank everyone who has already submitted their entry for the Vanilla Bean Sampler Giveaway. All i can say is that you’re a bunch of talented people and i’m VERY impressed by your creativity, i’m going to scratch my head real hard next week-end to figure out who’s the winner. Should i stop shaving and start drinking NOW? Special thanks to Chris for trying to bribe me with naked pictures of himself but… nahh dude, that won’t work! If you haven’t already done so you can submit your naked …err your entries to:

Today’s recipe honoring the precious bean is quite unusual but very delicious. This is the Yin & the Yang of salad making and in order for you to understand it properly i have to hypnotise you. Don’t worry it won’t hurt a bit … but you might loose your wallet in the process. Big deal! Now relax and stare at the picture below for a minute.

You are now slowly drifting into a Zen-like state of calm, far from the multitasking and responsibility of daily routine, a haven of peace also known as the ‘Twilight Zen’. In other words, you’re mine, you’re all mine!! Muuaaararrarrgghhh *evil laugh*

  1. Now imagine the sweetness and acid present in most tropical fruits complementing perfectly the lush meatiness of prawns or lobster. Breath in deeply.
  2. Add the black pepper-vanilla bean vinaigrette to that thought as something providing a tropical sensuality and a pleasant, cutting heat. Exhale.
  3. Feel the salty crunch of buttery macadamia nuts adding texture and depth. Breath in deeply.
  4. Imagine the arugula or watercress and the mint providing the cleansing quality needed to keep the fruit, the prawns and the vinaigrette in perfect balance. Exhale.

Ladies and gentlemen, you’ve just experienced the Yin & the Yang of salad making. Now relax. Take a deep breath. Make sure your clothes are still on. Enjoy life’s little pleasures.

Tropical Fruit & Prawns Salad with Black Pepper-Vanilla Bean Vinaigrette

(serves 4)

For the vinaigrette:

  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
  • 3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • Pulp of 1 vanilla bean (i use Tahitian vanilla)
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1/4 cup olive oil

For the salad:

  • 12 prawns, cooked and shelled
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 cups watercress or arugula, washed
  • 1 papaya, peeled, seeded, cut into thick slices
  • 1 mango, peeled, pitted, cut into thick slices
  • 1 cup pineapple wedges, thin slices
  • 1 passion fruit, halved and pulp reserved
  • 1/4 cup mint leaves
  • 1/2 cup macadamia nuts, roughly chopped

For the vinaigrette:

Combine all the ingredients in a blender and blend for 30-seconds. Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to 3 days.

For the salad:

  1. Toss the prawns with enough vinaigrette to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper
  2. Toss the arugula or watercress with 1 tablespoon of vinaigrette and season to taste with salt and pepper
  3. Toss together the arugula or watercress, papaya, mango, pineapple in a medium bowl
  4. Arrange the salad on each plate. Top with the prawns. Sprinkle with macadamia nuts. Spoon a little more vinaigrette over the prawns. Spoon passion fruit around each plate. Sprinkle each plate with fresh mint leaves. Serve immediately.

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  • AzAzura

    Sexeeyyy salad!!
    I love prawns teamed with fruits (so far Ive only tried melons and mangoes with simple Thai dressing) and sometimes make them for my little friends get-together ,I will definitely try this recipe and can imagine the taste, I know I like this already.Yum, yum

  • §pinzer

    Ya know prawns can be a very, very versatile piece of ingredient! The other day I made prawn and avocado with rockets bruschetta and added thin zesty pineapple slices on top, and after tasting that and comparing with yours, one could SO imagine how heavenly your salad would taste like already *drooooooools*

    your posts always make my day, thank you Zen! Now let me pre-order a taster set menu so that you can pass to Jet when she visits you haha!

  • foodhuntress

    Tropical fruits? Prawns? Mouth- watering recipe reminiscent of a dreamy Pacific island. Great :)

  • foodhuntress

    Btw, oui, Chef, is my sister :)

  • Anali

    ZC, you are good! I was literally laughing and oooing and aaaahing while reading this post! Now, that is one feisty salad! And I just finished my vanilla poem, which I’ll be emailing momentarily. : D

  • Rasa Malaysia

    This is yummy…tropical dreamin on a cold winter day with this recipe…even though tropical islands are unreachable. Saving this one. I might even kick it up a notch by using lobster meat…what do you think? Hehe.

  • beachlover

    look yummy delicious…Yin and Yang my favourite symbol…errhh balance up in whatever you do..I like your pix especially the shrimp!!

  • Chicken & Waffles

    Oh, that is simply splendid. Thanks for celebrating the vanilla bean, Zen-man. It’s certainly due the respect and in its raw state, it’s so ugly, it’s beautiful. I just want to make a skirt out of vanilla beans. It’d look fatastic with a cropped fur vest and a pair of Christian Louboutin shoes… But I guess I should remember this is a food blog.

  • SeductionMeals

    Wow, this looks and sounds incredible. I look forward to trying this recipe, thank you! Terry,

  • Hello Rainbow

    Ooh this has completely seduced me into it’s prawny-tropical-vanilla charm, ehm, will MY naked pictures work?? tsk tsk, chris, Whoever wants to see u in your birthday suit!! lollll

  • §pinzer

    i’m not the Chris he’s talking about!! but on a separate note, I think your naked pictures might just do the trick 😛

    lol Val, I’m not that “cheap” aight? 😉

  • Sweetiepie

    prawn and tropical fruit is such a wonderful combination.delicioso

  • Zen Chef

    Azazura…This is a sexey salad indeed!! Try it and let me know if it tickles your fancy! :-)

    Chris..Keep your clothes ON pleaaseeee. I don’t want any naked people in this comment room! haha
    I’m glad you like it my friend! :-)

    Foodhuntress..dreamy.pacific.island…gosh i love those words! :-) You know what i was thinking, this recipe would be great with your coco nectar vinegar!
    btw: Flygirl is your sister, wow! What a kick ass family! hehehe

    Anali thank uuuuu! Glad i gave you a good laugh! :-) Now it’s 5 bucks! haha
    Received your poem. you’re awesome!

    Rasa malaysia, lobster would be wonderful in this recipe. Go for it! i bet your pictures of it will be awesome! :-)

    Beachlover thank you! It’s my favorite too!

    C&W the way you talk about it, food and fashion do mix and match! hehe What’s up with louboutin shoes this days, i keep seeing this brand everywhere i look. Me don’t know nuthin’!

    Hi Terry, Thank you for stopping by. Try it and let me know what you think!

    Val, you can submit the pics sure! haha…As long as you don’t mind being looked at by the 27 judges judging the competition! hehe
    Don’t believe Chris..he sent me his naked pics! haha

    Chris…no comment!

    Sweetiepie…mucho delicioso como yo! Damn i’m good at Spanish! haha

  • waliz

    jeez zen…your tropical fruits and prawn salad not only sexy but very temptating too..! me already been hypnotized!err…i dont mind being hypnotized..really..hahaha!

  • Brilynn

    I so want to make this… need some tahitian vanilla pulp… must enter contest…

  • Cynthia

    Oh, you are wicked! I am salivating at this end! 😀

  • Big Boys Oven

    oh this lovely, i like this salad recipe of yours with vanilla bean! exotic!

  • Cakespy

    I agree with azazura: SEXY salad! This looks flavorful and exotic but still very “clean”. Yum.

  • Zen Chef

    Thank you Waliz!…Now you’re feelin’ sleepy, sleepy, sleepy..zzzzzzz

  • Zen Chef

    Thank you Brilynn! I received your entry! Wonderful! :-)

  • Zen Chef

    Hi Cynthia! Yup, that’s the good old wicked me! hehehe :-)

  • Zen Chef

    Cakespy, yes Sexy is a good way to describe it. Maybe something good to serve on Valentine’s day! :-)

  • Colleen

    I’m so calm I feel a bit sleepy.

    This reminds me of a coconut rice, spicy portobello and prawn dish I had recently. It was to DIE for.

  • Claude-Olivier

    Jolie intro a un plat qui me botte bien, très sympathique présentation..quand aux photos, je préfère rien t’envoyer, c’est plus sage ^^! Tcho

  • Helene

    OK, I’m flying to your place for dinner. I’ll bring the wine. Just discovered your blog and love it.

  • Cindy. Lo.

    Haha I guess nude picture can’t really get him the grand prize!

  • Mansi Desai

    my first time here…loved your bio:)

  • Zen Chef

    Colleen… don’t fall asleep now!
    There’s a no sleeping policy in my comment room! :-)

  • Zen Chef

    Claude merci!!
    Et non! pas de photos a poil s’il te plait! haha

  • Zen Chef

    Noo Cindy!!..hehe I’m not THAT easy! :-)

  • Zen Chef

    Thank you Mansi!!
    My dysfunctional self is welcoming you! :-)

  • daphne

    my goodness! that looks soo good. Clean and crisp flavours!

  • SteamyKitchen

    my toes are tingling!

  • michelle @ Us vs. Food

    that is one gorgeous fucking salad.

    i want.